§ 6. Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND - TROYTE
asked the Minister of Pensions whether he will consider the possibility of allowing men who are granted a final award for a disability assessed as under 20 per cent. to appeal within 12 months of the termination of the pension award instead of within 12 months of the grant of the award; and whether he will make this right retrospective in all cases of disability below 20 per cent. in which appeals have not already been lodged?
Lieut.- Colonel STANLEY
Having regard to the provisions of Section 4 of the War Pensions Act, 1921, the suggestion made in this question could not be carried out without legislation. In any event, however, my right hon. Friend could not, in fairness to the general body 2444 of officers and men to whom final awards have been made, give an extended period of appeal to one class alone. My right hon. Friend would point out that the right of appeal is freely exercised in the class of case referred to, since, up to the present date, appeal has been made by slightly more than one out of every four cases in which a final award of this class has been notified.
§ Lieut.-Colonel ACLAND-TROYTE
Is my hon. and gallant Friend aware that many of these men who are unable, on account of disability, to earn a full wage, feel a sense of grievance, and will he have their grievances inquired into with a view to settling them, and repaying these men the debt that we owe them?
These men have been given awards according to the amount of disability they have sustained, and they have a year in which to appeal. It is entirely in their own discretion whether they make use of that year or not.
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware of the urgent need for amending the Royal Warrant, and will he make representations that legislation ought at once to be introduced in that direction?
No, Sir, I do not think so. My right hon. Friend, under a previous Government, carried through arrangements which were continued by the last Government in order, where serious error existed, to correct it, and, as far as the Ministry knows—and we watch it very carefully—this is working satisfactorily.
Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that out of 400 cases in Wales it was only possible to re-open one under these Regulations?